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Identifying Hardware That Impacts Image-based Installations

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Identifying Hardware That Impacts Image-based Installations

Most Plug and Play peripheral devices, such as sound cards, network adapters, modems, and video cards, do not impact image-based installations. You do not need to inventory these types of devices because they are automatically detected, installed, and configured after you copy a disk image onto a destination computer. You do, however, need to identify several other types of peripheral devices and hardware components, including the following:

  • HALs

  • Mass storage controllers

  • Minimum available hard disk space

  • Portable computer devices

  • Vendor-specific devices

  • Legacy devices

HALs

Identify how many HALs your organization uses. You can use image-based installation only if any of the following are true:

  • The HAL on the master computer is identical to the HAL on the destination computer.

  • The master computer has a uniprocessor or multiprocessor Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC) HAL, and the destination computer has a uniprocessor or multiprocessor APIC HAL.

  • The master computer has a uniprocessor or multiprocessor Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) APIC HAL, and the destination computer has a uniprocessor or multiprocessor ACPI APIC HAL.

Table 3.2 lists the types of HALs that Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003 support.

Table 3.2   HALs Compatible with Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional

 

This HAL Can Be Used on These Computers

Non-ACPI Programmable Interrupt Controller (PIC) HAL (Hal.dll)

  • Non-ACPI PIC computers

  • Non-ACPI APIC uniprocessor and multiprocessor computers

  • ACPI PIC computers

  • ACPI APIC uniprocessor and multiprocessor computers

Non-ACPI APIC uniprocessor HAL (Halapic.dll)

  • Non-ACPI APIC uniprocessor computers

  • ACPI APIC uniprocessor computers

Non-ACPI APIC multiprocessor HAL (Halmps.dll)

  • Non-ACPI APIC multiprocessor computers

  • Non-ACPI APIC uniprocessor computers

ACPI PIC HAL (Halacpi.dll)

  • ACPI PIC computers

ACPI APIC uniprocessor HAL (Halaacpi.dll)

  • ACPI APIC uniprocessor computers

ACPI APIC multiprocessor HAL (Halmacpi.dll)

  • ACPI multiprocessor computers

  • ACPI uniprocessor computers

The type of HAL that is installed on a computer is often dependent on the BIOS. Before you determine the type of HAL a computer needs, make sure that the BIOS is current. For example, a computer might have ACPI-compatible peripherals, but if the BIOS is old and is not ACPI-compatible, the computer could still have a non-ACPI HAL because Setup installs the HAL based on the capabilities of the BIOS. For more information about ACPI-compatible HALs, see article Q216573, "How Windows Determines ACPI Compatibility," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. For more information about determining the type of HAL that is installed on a computer, see article Q298898, "How to Determine the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) That Is Used in Windows XP," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find these articles, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.

To determine the type of HAL that is installed on a computer

  1. In Windows Explorer, open the Systemroot\System32 folder.

  2. Right-click Hal.dll, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.

  3. On the Version tab, in the Item name list, click Original file name.

  4. Use the file name of the HAL and Table 3.2 to determine the type of HAL that is installed on the computer.

You cannot use the command prompt or the Microsoft® MS-DOS® operating system to determine the type of HAL that is installed on a computer.

For more information about HAL compatibility and image-based installations, see "Reducing the Number of Master Images for Computers with Multiprocessors" in the Microsoft Windows Corporate Deployment Tools User’s Guide (Deploy.chm). Deploy.chm is included in the Deploy.cab file in the Support folder on the Windows Server 2003 operating system CD.

Mass storage controllers

You might need to identify certain types of mass storage controllers that are used in your organization. In the past, you had to create a separate disk image for each mass storage controller. This is no longer true with Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003; however, if you have a type of mass storage controller that is not listed in any of the device information (.inf) files that ship with Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP Professional — Machine.inf, Scsi.inf, Pnpscsi.inf, or Mshdc.inf — you need to use the following information when you design automated setup tasks for the Mini-Setup stage of an image-based installation:

  • The hard disk controller’s description, as specified in its .inf file (for example, Intel 82371AB/EB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller).

  • The hard disk controller’s Plug and Play ID, as specified in its .inf file (for example, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_7111).

  • The file name of the hard disk controller’s .inf file.

  • Driver file names for the hard disk controller. This includes the following files: Driver.sys, Driver.inf, Driver.dll, Driver.cat, and Txtsetup.oem, where Driver is the name of the device driver. Some drivers, such as small computer system interface (SCSI) miniport drivers, might not have a .dll file.

  • The name of the tag file (also known as a disk tag), whose presence on a floppy disk or CD tells the driver installation program that the floppy disk or CD containing the device drivers is inserted into the floppy disk drive or CD-ROM drive. The name of the tag file is specified in the hard disk controller’s Txtsetup.oem file.

For a worksheet to help you record information about your mass storage controllers, see "Mass Storage Controller Worksheet" (ACISYS_2.doc) on the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 Deployment Kit companion CD (or see "Mass Storage Controller Worksheet" on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/reskit). For more information about mass storage controller compatibility and image-based installations, see "Reducing the Number of Master Images for Computers with Different Mass Storage Controllers" in the Microsoft Windows Corporate Deployment Tools User’s Guide (Deploy.chm). Deploy.chm is included in the Deploy.cab file in the Support folder on the Windows Server 2003 operating system CD.

Minimum available hard disk space

Identify the smallest hard disk, or the smallest partition, that you plan to distribute each disk image to. This is important from a design standpoint because your disk image must be smaller than the minimum space that is available on a destination computer. By making your disk image smaller than the smallest disk or smallest partition in your organization, you make the image more versatile.

Although most disk-imaging programs can extend or shrink a partition to fit the size of the disk image, using a disk-imaging program to do so is not recommended if the disks are formatted with NTFS. Instead of having a third-party disk-imaging program extend a partition, you can have Windows extend it. This will ensure that NTFS is not compromised. For more information about extending the size of a partition, see "Automating Tasks Before Mini-Setup" later in this chapter.

Portable computer devices

Identify any special devices that are installed on portable computers. Some devices are compatible only with portable computers and cannot be installed on desktop computers. For example, if you create a disk image of a portable computer that has an inboard (built-in) pointing device, such as a trackpad, and you distribute the image to a desktop computer, the desktop computer might not have any support for the mouse or keyboard during the Mini-Setup phase of an image-based installation. To prevent this behavior, create a separate disk image for portable computers.

The primary portable devices that you need to identify are:

  • DVD, CD-RW, and CD-ROM drives that require vendor-specific or third-party drivers and codecs.

  • Human input devices, such as trackpads and track sticks, that require vendor-specific or third-party drivers.

  • Inboard or motherboard-resident devices — such as display adapters, network adapters, modems, infrared ports, and sound cards — that require vendor-specific or third-party drivers.

Vendor-specific devices

Identify special devices that require vendor-specific device drivers or third-party device drivers that are not available with Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003. Examples of these devices include smart card readers, redundant array of independent disks (RAID) controllers, flash disk devices, and IEEE 1394 bus host controllers. You might need to create a separate disk image that contains these device drivers, or you might need to install these devices after you copy a disk image onto a destination computer.

Legacy devices

Identify all legacy devices that are installed and used in your organization. Legacy devices are devices that do not support Plug and Play and might require manual installation and configuration after a disk image is copied onto a computer. Legacy devices do not necessarily require you to create separate disk images, but they can force you to alter the way you perform an image-based installation. For example, you can create a disk image for computers that have only Plug and Play devices, but still use that disk image on computers that have non–Plug and Play devices. For those computers that have non–Plug and Play devices, you might have to run a script after Mini-Setup to configure the non–Plug and Play device settings. For more information, see "Automating Tasks After Mini-Setup" later in this chapter.

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